Women's Soccer Hosts Annual Black Knight Classic

Katie Wacker

Katie Wacker
The Army women's soccer team faces another stern test this weekend welcoming unbeaten Iowa, Syracuse and NCAA participant Long Island University to Clinton Field for the annual Black Knight Classic.

The tournament begins Friday (Sept. 7) with LIU and Syracuse squaring off in the opener at 3 p.m. followed by the Army-Iowa nightcap at 7 p.m. On Sunday (Sept. 9), LIU takes on Iowa in the first game at 11 a.m. with the Army taking on Syracuse in the tournament's final game at 1:30 p.m.

Army defeated Seton Hall, 1-0, and Stetson, 5-1, to win last season's Black Knight Classic for the second straight year. Tournament MVP Kim An returns along with all-tournament selections Joey Molacek and Molly McGuigan.

Live stats for all four games will be available through GameTracker by logging onto Army's official athletics website (www.goARMYsports.com). Army's matches against the Hawkeyes and Orange will also be video streamed live on Knight Vision, the Black Knights' subscription-based multimedia platform available via Army's official website. In-game Twitter updates for Army's games will also be offered via the Black Knights' official handle (@ArmyAthletics).

The Black Knights vs. the Tournament Field: Army, the defending Patriot League Tournament champions, takes on a field that includes schools from the Big Ten, Big East and the Northeast Conference. The Black Knights and LIU both earned bids to last year's NCAA Tournament.

Army takes on Big Ten member Iowa in Friday evening's nightcap in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

The Black Knights, who are two victories shy of reaching the 300-win plateau, close out their tournament against Big East member Syracuse Sunday afternoon. The Army-Syracuse series is tied at 1-1-0, and Sunday's meeting is the first since 1997.

ARMY leveled its season mark at 3-3-0 following its first shutout of the season, a 1-0 blanking of Seton Hall on Monday that knocked the Pirates (5-1-0) from the unbeaten ranks. The goal was just the second to crease Seton Hall's net this season with the damage done by freshman Anna Lail with her second tally of the season and first game winner. Army goalkeeper Linda Rosas made four saves, two in each half, as the Black Knights snapped a two-game losing string.

Joey Molacek leads Army in scoring with three goals and an assist for seven points, ranking tied for fifth in the former and seventh in the latter in the latest Patriot League standings. Rosas, a starter in five of Army's six games, shows a 1.10 goals-against average and .815 save percentage to rank third in the league in both categories.

IOWA is off to its second best start in program history showing a 6-0-0 mark, and in sole possession of the top spot in the Big Ten standings. The Hawkeyes are ranked No. 37 in this week's TopDrawerSoccer.com Tournament 64 National rankings. Head coach Ron Rainey comes into Friday's match with 149 career wins in 15 years of coaching.

The Hawkeyes have outscored their opponents 21-2 with Cloe Lacasse leading the team in goals (seven), assists (four), points (18) and game winners (four). Ashley Catreel is next in scoring with 11 points (five goals, one assist) along with a game winner.

In goal, Hannah Clark and Meg Goodson have drawn the most time combining with Kiley Beck for a 0.34 goals-against average. Clark has four shutouts and a 0.32 GAA in 284 minutes in the net with Goodson next with a 0.50 GAA and two shutouts in 180 minutes.

SYRACUSE is coming off a 2-0 setback at Ohio State in its last outing to stand 2-2-1 on the season after starting off with a pair of road wins. Included among its wins is a 3-2 overtime decision over Colgate, the preseason favorite to win the Patriot League title.

Alexis Koval and Hanna Strong pace Syracuse with six points (three goals) and five points (two goals and an assist), respectively. In goal, Brittany Anghel shows 1.31 goals-against average.

LIU comes into the tournament with a 1-3-0 mark after capturing its first win of the season in last week's 1-0 blanking of UMBC. Mariana Ruas scored the game winner from 10 yards out late in the opening half and junior keeper Jennifer Bannon earned her first shutout of the season without having to record a save. The blanking, her career 21st, tied the school's all-time mark.

The Blackbirds, the defending Northeast Conference tournament champions, were picked to finish second in the NEC preseason coaches' poll. Army and LIU battled to a 2-2 draw during a preseason scrimmage.

NEXT UP FOR ARMY: The Black Knights return to the road heading to California to participate in the Under Armour Classic. Army faces Cal State Fullerton on Friday, Sept. 14, at 10:30 p.m. ET, and host Long Beach State on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 2 p.m. ET.

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